One of the hardest things about learning to dance is that initial first step. I'm not talking about a dance step...I'm talking about the first step into the studio. I have heard some funny stories about what some students anticipated (including myself) before visiting the studio and seeing what things were really like. Here are 3 of the major ones...
1.Dancing is for OLD PEOPLE...yes it is...and it's for young people, couples, singles, couples who just became engaged, children...the list goes on and on. Gone are the days when you would walk into a ballroom dance studio and see a line of old ladies waiting to be danced around the floor. Statistically, most students range in age from 30 - 60 years of age. Some in their 20's fill in the gap on one end of the spectrum while older folk fill in the other end. I have even taught children as young as 5 years old on up to the tweens. That being said...learning to dance is something that anyone of any age can do!
2. Music for dancing is OLD FASHIONED...again, yes...some of it is, but with performers like Michael Buble on the scene there has been a resurgence in Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and all the other great performers who made such fantastic dance music. Believe it or not, you can dance to just about any contemporary music as well. The Foxtrot fits to roughly 60% of the music you hear on the radio. Rock and roll, pop, disco, Latin, country western...there are dances that fit with just about any music whether the tempo is slow, medium or fast. Most studios will have a contemporary play list to dance to. I have heard so many people tell me "I didn't know we could dance to that song!"
3. I need a partner to learn...Again, yes and no...depends where you go. Some adult education classes and seminars require you to have a partner. Most dance studios DO NOT require you to have a partner. As a matter of fact, I tell single students that they are better off because they receive the full attention of the teacher and can move as fast as their learning style will allow. If you work with a partner the teacher's time is split between 2 people and you usually end up working at the pace of the slower individual. Now that being said, you shouldn't throw your partner to the curb...just understand that there are different learning styles involved. Another cool thing that happens when you dance at a studio is that you get to dance with different people. Most studios teach private lessons as well as group lessons so there will be opportunity to dance with various partners. It's a good way to see if you are learning because if you can lead or follow someone you are not used to, you are really doing it! If you are a single student, it is a great way to be comfortable dancing with different partners...not just your teacher! After all, your teacher probably won't be at the next wedding you attend or the next nightclub you go to!
So there you have it. Hopefully I have taken away some of the mystery about what your first visit to a dance studio will be like. Remember what FEAR is...false evidence appearing real. It's just the stories we are telling ourselves about what we THINK will happen. Usually it's not so bad. I can tell you numerous stories about students who couldn't even get out of their car when they arrived at the studio...or actually making it to the front door before turning back, but once those people came in and experienced what really happens their lives were changed forever!